The Arkansas Razorbacks will (3-6) finish off their 2020 campaign against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) this Saturday, Dec. 12 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5. Before the Hogs’ matchup against the Missouri Tigers. The Southeastern Conference announced Nov. 23 that the game would be postponed due to a combination of positive tests for COVID-19 and subsequent quarantining of individuals, pushing the game another week.
Alabama is the sixth Top-25 team the Razorbacks are facing off against this season.
The Crimson Tide comes in with an undefeated record and having recently earned the West Division spot in the SEC Championship game against the No. 6 Florida Gators, after demolishing LSU, 55-17.
Alabama is fourth in the nation in both total offensive yards per game at 548.3 and passing yards per game with 361.1.
“We’re looking forward to playing the best team in the country on Saturday,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said in a Wednesday teleconference. “They’re so explosive on offense, they have a big, physical, powerful offensive line. As good as I’ve seen in college football. Defensively, they got coach (Nick) Saban all over them.”
The Razorbacks carry a three-game losing streak, falling in another heartbreaker to Mizzou, 50-48. The loss came without Arkansas having its usual starting quarterback.
Graduate senior quarterback Feleipe Franks was ruled out before kickoff against Mizzou due to injury. Redshirt freshman KJ Jefferson started instead, completing 18 of his 33 pass attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 32 yards on 13 attempts, as well as getting a touchdown on the ground.
Whether or not Franks will get the start is up in the air. If he were to play, there is potential that he will split time with Jefferson.
“We'll make a decision at gametime what we’re going to do at the quarterback position,” Pittman said. “Always a potential for us to play both of them.”
Senior linebacker Grant Morgan leads the nation in total tackles at 111. However, he is questionable to start because of a rib injury he sustained against Mizzou and has not been able to practice.
“Grant’s a leader for us,” Pittman said. “Obviously, he has not been able to practice yet at this time as of yesterday. We have a lot of confidence in Hayden Henry, Andrew Parker and those guys. They’ve been practicing. So, I think we’ll be fine there, regardless whether he plays or whether he doesn’t.”
The Razorbacks have knocked off a No. 1 team twice in program history. Arkansas toppled the Texas Longhorns, 42-11, on Oct. 17, 1981, and bested the LSU Tigers in triple overtime, 50-48, on Nov. 23, 2007.
This is the 31st meeting between Arkansas and Alabama, with the Crimson Tide leading the all-time series 23-7. The Crimson Tide has won the last 13 meetings. 10 of those were by more than one possession.
Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN. Alabama is favored to win by 31.5 with the over/under at 68.5, according to College Football News.